There is so much to get excited about during awards season: the celebs, the wry host, those rambling “I-forgot-to-thank-my-wife” acceptance speeches.
But nothing grabs us quite like the red-carpet arrivals, where nerves, big personalities and high style swirl together—a recipe for captivating television.
So what really goes down before the Big Event? To learn more, we turn to Keltie Knight.
The Insider's Knight has become a fixture on the red carpet, interviewing Hollywood’s biggest stars as they file into the awards ceremony. Knight dishes for us on what goes on before the show and doesn't leave anything out—the good (gowns galore), the bad (a meager day-of diet) and the ugly (interview stampedes).
What time does your day begin?
The most exciting thing about an awards show like the Oscars or the Grammy Awards is that they happen on the weekend, so I get to sleep in first! Sleeping past 4:30 am (my usual weekday wake up) is a treat better than diamonds.
What do you eat throughout the day?
I still get really nervous when I'm hosting at award shows. To be honest, I'm usually drinking tea and hoping that I can fit into whatever couture size-zero dress I somehow thought would be a good idea. The eating happens after the show, and if you follow me on Instagram you will see that after every award show I wear my diamonds and gowns straight into Fat Burger for a veggie burger and fries.
Where do you get your hair and makeup done?
It depends on the show. I usually rent a hotel room near the red carpet and my team comes there to get me ready. I'm honestly pretty fast. I can go from sweats and wet hair to photo-ready in an hour and a half. We always plan out my looks, so everyone has a pretty good idea of what to do.
What is your number-one tip to always look camera-ready?
EYELASHES! OH MY GOSH. Please—if you are a bride, going to an event, having special photos taken—wear big lashes. It's the secret sauce. I wear the little individual glue-on ones from the drugstore and I pile them on until I can barely open my eyes.
When do you get dressed for the big event?
Getting dressed is the best part, mostly because for the next hour everyone around you comments on how great you look and how pretty you are. I mean, wearing couture gowns is a dream, but the positive peanut gallery is the icing on the cake. I get dressed right before I go down to the red carpet because that gives me the least amount of time to spill something all over my dress.
How do you decide what to wear on the red carpet?
I like to take big risks. I always wear color—never black. J.Lo is my go-to for looks. I like glitter, I like bright colors, I like attention. It really is all about fit, though—a beautiful dress that doesn't fit right is not beautiful. I also like a little sex on the red carpet, maybe a nice low-V neckline. I don't follow trends. I like the dress to shine.
What time do you arrive?
I'm super type-A, so I like to get down the carpet early. I like to have time for last-minute studying—plus I have to get in all my selfies before the carpet starts! I also have to take my red-carpet press photos before Beyoncé shows up, because once Beyoncé arrives nothing else matters.
So you’re on the carpet. Then what happens?
Most red carpets work like this: the first hour is all B-list celebs and lesser-known stars; they arrive first because they know no one will talk to them later. The second hour is A-list stars who might be presenting or are just there for fun. The last 20 minutes, all hell breaks loose because that is when the AAA-list stars all seem to arrive at the exact same time. These are the stars that are nominated and who will grab the big stories. It becomes a mad dash to try to interview and get a snapshot of them. Have you ever seen one of those YouTube videos of shoppers trampling over each other on Black Friday? It's like that, but everyone is wearing millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds.
What is the first thing you do once you’re “off air”?
Take off my makeup. Take off my Spanx. Check my Twitter and Instagram to see if people have been following and loving the behind-the-scenes photos I've been posting. Then I start working on an email I send to my bosses about the highlights of my interviews.
Who do you most want to interview?
I know this is crazy but I've probably interviewed all my favorites: Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Oprah, Jennifer Lawrence, Jared Leto, Claire Danes, Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks… The list goes on. You'd never guess but the person I get the most nervous around is Paula Abdul. I LOVE Paula. I lose my mind whenever I have to interview Paula. She's so tiny and she's my childhood idol.
Who was your most intimidating interview?
OPRAH. She's my idol. When I interviewed her, I was trying to remember my name, remember my questions and also be 100% present in the interview. She touched my arm and her skin was so soft, it was exactly like you would think $1,000 "favorite things" hand cream would do to your hands.